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Wall Street Journal Examines New Initiative To Combat Drug-Resistant TB In India

The Wall Street Journal examines a new effort to combat drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) In India, noting “[a]n international health initiative has brokered a landmark accord that aims to halve the price patients pay for advanced tests for a strain of tuberculosis that is resistant to standard drugs.” The news service writes, “The deal is between the makers of diagnostic equipment that can detect multidrug-resistant TB and private Indian clinics that test patients,” adding, “Together, they could fill a big hole in international efforts to combat more-virulent forms of the disease by creating a matchable model.”

“Under the accord — coordinated by the non-profit Clinton Health Access Initiative and a McGill University professor — several diagnostics makers will give private Indian laboratories the same steep discounts offered to India and other poor governments,” the Wall Street Journal notes, adding, “In return, the laboratories agreed to a top price for the tests that is about half of the current market price in India.” However, “[t]he potential impact of the new initiative remains uncertain due to the reluctance of India’s Central TB Division to endorse it,” the newspaper writes, adding, “‘The government welcomes all initiatives that support the fight against tuberculosis,’ Anshu Prakash, joint secretary of health for India, who oversees TB, told the Wall Street Journal on Friday. He said he wasn’t told why the TB division didn’t endorse the effort but said it might have been because a written proposal wasn’t submitted” (Anand, 3/18).